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(1)In the M1Children Act 1989, after section 17 insert—
(1)Instead of providing services in the exercise of functions conferred on them by section 17, a local authority may make to a person falling within subsection (2) (if he consents) a payment of such amount as, subject to subsections (5) and (6), they think fit in respect of his securing the provision of any of the services which the local authority would otherwise have provided.
(2)The following fall within this subsection—
(a)a person with parental responsibility for a disabled child;
(b)a disabled child aged 16 or 17.
(3)A payment under subsection (1) shall be subject to the condition that the person to whom it is made shall not secure the provision of the service to which it relates by a person who is of a prescribed description.
(4)The Secretary of State may by regulations provide that the power conferred by subsection (1) is not to be exercisable in relation to the provision of residential accommodation for any person for a period exceeding a prescribed period.
(5)Except as mentioned in subsection (6) of this section, subsections (2) and (6) of section 1, and subsections (1) and (2) of section 2, of the M2Community Care (Direct Payments) Act 1996 apply in relation to payments under subsection (1) as they apply in relation to payments under section 1(1) of that Act, but as if—
(a)the reference to “subsection (4)” in section 1(6)(b) of that Act were a reference to subsection (3) of this section; and
(b)the references to “the relevant community care enactment” in section 2 of that Act were to Part III of the M3Children Act 1989.
(6)Section 1(2) of the Community Care (Direct Payments) Act 1996 does not apply in relation to payments under subsection (1) to—
(a)a person with parental responsibility for a disabled child, other than a parent of such a child under the age of sixteen, in respect of a service which would otherwise have been provided for the child; or
(b)any person who is in receipt of income support, working families’ tax credit or disabled person’s tax credit under Part VII of the M4Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 or of an income-based jobseeker’s allowance,
and in those cases the amount of any payment under subsection (1) is to be at a rate equal to the local authority’s estimate of the reasonable cost of securing the provision of the service concerned.
(1)The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision for the issue by a local authority of vouchers to a person with parental responsibility for a disabled child.
(2)“Voucher” means a document whereby, if the local authority agrees with the person with parental responsibility that it would help him care for the child if the person with parental responsibility had a break from caring, that person may secure the temporary provision of services for the child under section 17.
(3)The regulations may, in particular, provide—
(a)for the value of a voucher to be expressed in terms of money, or of the delivery of a service for a period of time, or both;
(b)for the person who supplies a service against a voucher, or for the arrangement under which it is supplied, to be approved by the local authority;
(c)for a maximum period during which a service (or a service of a prescribed description) can be provided against a voucher.”
(2)M5 The reference to the Children Act 1989 in Schedule 1 to the M6National Assembly for Wales (Transfer of Functions) Order 1999 is to be treated as referring to that Act as amended by this section.
(3)Subsection (2) does not affect the power to make further Orders varying or omitting that reference.
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